CNN anchor Erin Burnett broke down in tears Wednesday night while interviewing a Ukrainian man whose wife and children were recently killed in the ongoing Russian onslaught.
Serhiy Perebyinis shared the heartbreaking story surrounding how he learned his wife, Titiana, and children, Mykta and Alisa, had been slain March 9 in Irpin.
“I saw a photo on Twitter, and I recognized my children,” he said, as Burnett cried throughout the segment, at one point pausing to compose herself.
It was a rare moment of emotion in media, underscoring the heartbreaking human toll of Russia’s Ukraine invasion. Watch the emotional interview:
“I saw a photo on Twitter and I recognized my children.” – Serhiy Perebyinis speaks with Erin Burnett about how he found out that his wife and two children had been killed in Russian shelling. pic.twitter.com/GlPe45diWy— CNN (@CNN) March 17, 2022
Perebyinis said he spoke to his wife the night before their killing.
“I managed to get through, and we had a discussion about a potential evacuation,” he said. “At the last moment, however, the convoy she … planned to travel with was shelled at and fired at.”
Titiana tried to escape on foot but was tragically killed alongside the couple’s children.
Perebyinis described his wife as “a very cheerful person” and said they had been married for 23 years. He said his children, aged 18 and 9, were typical kids with hopes, dreams, and interests.
“They were normal children. My son was older. He was 18, and he was in second year of university. He wanted to become an IT professional. Started programming,” Perebyinis said. “And my daughter was nine years old, and she liked dancing, painting. She studied English. They were normal, cheerful children.”
Perebyinis said his first sign something was wrong came when he noticed his wife’s location on Google Maps had changed.
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“We used to see each other with my wife on Google Maps, and that morning I noticed that there was unusual geolocation between Kyiv and their ping,” he said. “And then 20 minutes later, her phone moved to another location, to a hospital in Kyiv, and I suspected something was wrong.”
He then saw on Twitter that shelling had killed a family — and that’s when he discovered the unimaginable.
“I saw a photo on Twitter, and I recognized my children. I recognized their things and their clothes,” he said. “And I called my friends to say the children are dead. Their bodies are lying on pavement, and I asked them, please could you help me to find my wife.”
Perebyinis said he was able to bury his wife and children after their tragic deaths. Please continue to pray for him and for his friends and loved ones during this difficult time.
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